40d Talk:Modding guide

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A user has made these comment on Category talk:Modding and Category talk:Mods discussion pages (two categories?!...), and I thought it best to reply here, where users interested in modding might(?) find it...

I was led astray a long while as I looked for information on modding before 
I found 40d:Modding guide...
Messy, messy. Delete/merge. Furthermore, link the surviving category to 40d:Modding guide

What, you talkin' to me? ; D

You see the need, do it! Of all the topics, "modding" is clearly and literally outside vanilla DF, yet also clearly(?) intended to be part of it. Bringing those articles together would be both a challenge and a great help. I agree, this needs to be done, and is a worthy project. I'd tackle it, and certainly have done larger such "cat herding" before here, but I don't mod much. But I can give you some general pointers...

The text on the Category:Modding page (which cannot be directly linked, btw, and so must have a redirect!) is merely a courtesy and an explanatory footnote (or should be nothing more than that) - that page is created automatically as part of the wiki engine, to show every article that has been added to the category "modding" (simply be adding the code " [[Category:Modding]] ". Every page that fits under the loose umbrella of "modding" should have this added to it, at the bottom. (But, I think, there should only be one category, not two, neh?!)

The List of mods appears to simply be a series of links to pre-fabricated, downloadable mods. Script kiddy stuff, by any other name. It needs a "how to" at the top, among other things, and maybe a comment on how to combine downloadable mods. And links.

Links... links are what make a wiki work, what lead a user from one article to another related or even more useful one.

And links are why this modding guide is (currently) tragic and almost completely pointless atm, because it has only 2 article links that lead to it - one from other weapon and one from building destroyer, and both of those are buried and very minor - which explains why, for instance, I sure don't remember seeing the Modding Guide article ever before! But this is the article that should be center of "How to", and the page that all others direct users (like the one above) to read. Maybe some additional search redirects, perhaps look over the redirects that currently lead to the "category" or "tokens" articles and change them.

The template:mod goes above anything that fits the text in it - (almost) anything that is not vanilla DF or that changes the code as downloaded (cat and init.txt being notable exceptions). Anything with that template could be helpful.

(I think Tokens, because it actually has been well-linked, also has some commentary about Modding and has had more links to it - they tend to feed off each other. A footnote-quality comment there is fine, but better to have all info centralized and linked than redundant articles that may or may not grow in parallel to each other.)

So - think about it, read all of what's there and what's linked to and from (see auto-link in left-sidebar, "What links here"!), make a plan, and tackle it logically, one step at a time. Read the above DF Wiki community guidelines. Make some notes. Figure out what's going on with those two different categories, "mod" and "modding". Change article names if you really are feeling confident. Cross link everything - that's what makes a page useful and connected. Link to vanilla DF articles as you see relevance, perhaps working in a comment, footnote or separate line toward the bottom. In short, be Bold. And your edits will bring those pages to the attention of other editors, who will make their own contributions. And we will thank you for it!

(If you feel this is too big a project for "you" alone, and/or want to "stake your claim" to give you time to finish a multi-day project, continue this discussion and get some like-minded editors to help - see this discussion for an example of how such grew into a complete teardown/rebuild of a similar mishmash of articles (and note that that particular article title no longer exists!). And hit my talk page if you want help/advice/sympathy with formatting, organization or miscellaneous "how to" - I'll be around.--Albedo 15:14, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I brought up the issue when I picked, at random, Wizard which was listed for verification. Articles in its family have their own set o fproblems, but I had a pretty hard time figuring out how, exactly, to go about modding them into the game and still haven't satisfactorily tested the wizards I made.
I'd like to cast a net in here for experienced modders interested in organizing and combining the Category:Mods and Category:Modding pages to better assist newbies and experienced players in learning more about adding more Fun to their game. I think it's appropriate to ask interested parties to comment in Category:Mods for further discussion.--Carlthuringer 06:03, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Users are welcome to discuss things here - it's a "Discussion" page, after all - but you might have better luck (ie, a more active audience) if you post a similar discussion in the forums, spec the "modding" subforum (a link to which can be found on that same forums page, about half-way down). --Albedo 13:00, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Creating separate .txt file for new creatures[edit]

This didn't work well for me. I added a new playable civ (Klackon) to the entity_default file like this page said, and the species (Klackon) in that new civ was located in a new .txt file. Dwarves still showed up, but never my civ. I kept reducing the number of allowable dwarf civs thinking they were just competing for selection, culminating in getting rid of them entirely, ending up in developing a world that had humans and elves only! Oops.

Finally, I added my Klackon creature to the end of the creature_standard file instead of only having them in the creature_klackon.txt file.. Voila! I now have dwarf civs and klackon civs in the same world and actually get a choice between them when I make a fort.

It's very possible that I just messed up something basic when I made the new .txt file to contain the creature definition, but I could still point out that making a new, separate .txt file certainly didn't make things simpler for me, so it's not such great advice for budding modders.

Everything else worked fine though, so thanks, still!

Have to be sure to add the text files name ( "creature_klackon" without the parenthesis, or brackets) and the line [OBJECT:CREATURE] to tell the game its a creature file. --Darkone 18:17, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

Bad info?[edit]

So someone added a big notice at the top that suggests there's a fair bit of out-of-date text.. but no mention of what that may be, no links to forum posts, et cetera. Someone want to clue me in on just what, exactly, is no longer relevant? --Nunix 15:14, 28 February 2008 (EST)

I think it's safe to take off the version warning but the examples need to be tested. It would probably be easier to manage if this article was split into smaller, in depth, modding guides. --Hex Decimal 23:07, 28 February 2008 (EST)

I would love to see a little more descriptive way of handling the raw files as opposed to simply a slew of examples on things to mod. Perhaps I'm just not spending enough time "tinkering", but it seems that the current article is set up rather poorly. Is that just me? --Borgin [EDIT] I didn't realize there were complete lists of tokens. Silly me; that sure makes things easier. 1:37, 15 May 2008 (CST)

Arachnid Tutorial[edit]

Minor nitpick here, but it apears he forgot to add :5FINGERS: tested it and it works, added it to wiki. as one of its body tags to go with its hands. Also, as a nice additional tutorial, maybe add in this little bit of code to show people how to add joints? --Darkone 18:39, 2 May 2008 (EDT)


Dwarven Flight[edit]

If I add the line [FLIER] to my dwarven civilisation would anything interesting happen? --AlexFili 05:30, 18 June 2008 (EDT)

No, dwarves will just spam "Task cancelled: dangerous terrain". They will have problems doing anything. --Someone-else 08:09, 18 June 2008 (EDT)
Flight pathing is even broken for invaders. What a shame! Swimmers can have problems too, though not that bad. --Navian 16:40, 21 November 2008 (EST)

Fireproof Trees?[edit]

Is there any means to create a wood material (and corrosponding trees to harvest for it) which will not burn, or at least won't ignite from contact with magma? --Rakankou 00:47, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

I am no expert but, what if you added the [FIRE_IMMUNE] tag to trees. Do not know if that will work, or if thats even the right tag. Magikarcher 02:12, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
[FIREIMMUNE] doesn't seem to work for making a fire safe wood. I think it's a creature token, anyway, so it makes sense that it wouldn't work for materials. --Rakankou 12:27, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
It's a creature token so it won't work. However, taken from Adamantine's entry (it is magma-proof):
Hopefully that helps. --Borgin 20:11, 12 August 2008

IGNITE_POINT is a matgloss token. Random832 17:01, 21 November 2008 (EST)


My word processer won't let me save .txts. Does that matter?

Yes. A word processor program (like anything from Microsoft Office) will generate all sorts of gibberish in addition to your text. HeWhoIsPale 11:22, 5 August 2008 (EDT)
Just use notepad, assuming you have it. --Arkenstone

Adventure mode?[edit]

Do I have to add the tag adventure tier to the dark elves to make them playable in adventure mode? Yaddy1 16:13, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

Yup. --Navian 16:40, 21 November 2008 (EST)

Modded creatures not showing?[edit]

I tried making my own races for a test. Spartans, copied from entity_info of dwarves and creature_Standard info from Humans and small bit from Titans. Persians, Like goblins but weaker and stupider. after running 4 different regions with different settings, only Goblins, Dwarves and Humans showed up. What am I doing wrong? There is not a single trace of them even existing at the legends screen. I really want to kick persians with spartans instead of biting goblins with dwarves. Skibiliano 14:22, 27 August 2008 (EDT)

The problem probably lies in the titan tags. In any case, backing up the original raws and just editing them would be easier to test. --Navian 16:40, 21 November 2008 (EST)
Did you get the filenames and [OBJECT] tags at the top? Those are easy to miss. I'd say make them copies of dwarves and goblins, respectively - once worlds generate with them, tweak them to be like you want. Also, you can temporarily move entity_default.txt to another dir to make it easier to debug. Darekun 11:39, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

"Random" civ selection with more than one playable civ[edit]

In the main text on this page (and I swear in a fair few other places, but I can't find them for some reason), it notes that if you have the [CIV_CONTROLLABLE] token on more than one entity it will randomly select from the playable civs when you embark. Well, yes, it's random in the sense that it initially selects a random group for your fortress to be an offshoot of, but you can easily select the desired species of your fort inhabitants by manually picking the appropriate group from the embark screen, either using legends mode to work out which group is which species, or by checking the "nearby civilizations" section and seeing which species is at the top (it seems that your species will always be at the top of the list). I'm going to adjust the "random selection" note to say you can choose your civilization, but I'm not sure if a whole mini-tutorial on picking your civ really belongs in the modding guide, or whether it should go somewhere else. Comments? --Quil 12:10, 16 November 2008 (EST)

Just the one line about how the race you'll be playing will be at the top of the 'neighbours' list wouldn't be that bad, wouldn't it? No tutorial required, anyway. Maybe we could divide the topic later, but I think this is an relevant as anything, considering how much depth can be added to the game this way. --Navian 18:55, 16 November 2008 (EST)
Okay, added a paragraph on picking your species. I think I covered all the pertinent points fairly succinctly. As a random aside, while the species I added is quite hardy and long-lived, so they've never been wiped out, I'm not sure if the game will care if some of the playable species die out. While in the vanilla game with the default settings it's impossible to kill off the dwarves, since the game will reject it due to having no playable civs, with additional playable races it may just be possible to have your extra species (or the dwarves) all die out and be unplayable in an otherwise acceptable map.--Quil 09:44, 17 November 2008 (EST)
I confirmed that. My aquatic playable civ didn't appear on a map without their starting biome, and my single gender race was wiped out by humans on the next go, leaving only the other playable each time. --Navian 16:40, 21 November 2008 (EST)

Rock Crystals[edit]

How would I go about modding the game to either allow me to import rough rock crystals or allowing me to make crystal glass from cut rock crystals?--Mjo625 07:37, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Or add a reaction that will change rock crystals into rough rock crystals. I added


to reaction_standard but it doesn't seem to be working. The dwarf takes the rough crystal and charcoal to the smelter, works for a while but doesn't produce anything.--Mjo625 10:22, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

If they take the reagents and don't produce a product, that means there's an error in the [PRODUCT] tag. In this case, you're missing a term - ROCK_CRYSTAL is a matgloss with no material token. I'd guess the correct version would be [PRODUCT:100:1:ROUGH:NO_SUBTYPE:STONE:ROCK_CRYSTAL].
It looks like imports are rather hardcoded, so no importing it; you could add a creature that drops it via [ITEMCORPSE], but smelter reactions are probably the way to go. Darekun 11:35, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

adding a programming emphasis[edit]

Hi, I am interested in modding and am a programmer by profession. I think it would be nice to approach the modding guide the same way as any programming language guide. It may be that not a lot of people who are programmers are coming to do Modding in DF but that doesn't mean they couldn't benefit greatly from some basic programming theory and knowledge. In fact, it was modding old-school rogue games for BBS systems that actually introduced me to real programming... I hope any edits I make meet with your approval. I also hope maybe we can start a plain-speech syntax guide for the mod files and a glossary of terms for all the hard-coded tags. I must admit that at this stage, going through the default files, I am a bit overwhelmed with the variety and have trouble knowing which tags/flags/tokens correspond to a hard-coded concept and which ones are simply built from other tags. The entity tags also have tokens whose importance I cannot yet determine. At these times, I wish I just had a simple glossary to refer to! So my request is that the wiki could have some sort of glossary/index for all these terms similar to the way creatures are organized. For an example of a code dictionary, please see: http://www.adobe.com/support/flash/action_scripts/actionscript_dictionary/ (I know the terms are a bit esoteric for non-programmers, like bitwise operators appear at the top of the list... but the concept is simple--and df modding has no operators, only keywords)

If there's anything over at bay12 like this, please let me know. I looked but couldn't find anything. Consensus seemed to be that it belonged on this wiki.

Well, I will try to do this myself unless there are serious objections, but since I have a full-time job, I would love it if others were to participate! --Jpwrunyan 02:38, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Healing Mods?[edit]

Is it possible to mod body parts that do not normally heal (like the spine) to heal like any other broken limb? If so, that should probably be here.--Zipdog 03:39, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

My understanding is that body parts that have the [NERVOUS] token don't heal, while most other body parts do. If you want spines and necks to heal, then you should just need to go into body_default.txt and remove the [NERVOUS] tokens from the SPINE and NECK body parts. I haven't tested removing the [NERVOUS] tokens to make sure that 1) nothing breaks and 2) necks and spines heal, but if someone else has please say so. --Ko 04:07, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
This is covered under Cheating --OneRaven 20:09, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Making Coke from Other Materials[edit]

So rather than keep re-rolling maps before I found a small map with both adamantine and fuel/magma, I decided I'd just mod in a reaction to change gneiss or graphite or something into coke.

What I did was copy the entry under "smelt lignite into coke" from matgloss_reactions.txt and then changed all the "lignite" into "gneiss". However, it didn't work. There's no option at the smelter to create coke from gneiss. Is there something else I need to do? Lymojo 18:53, 15 May 2009 (UTC)Lymojo

I believe that gneiss uses the "METAMORPHIC" subtype tag--whereas lignite does not have a subtype specified--so in the reaction.txt (mine's called reaction_standard, maybe because I'm using the Mac version) you have to change [REAGENT:1:STONE:NO_SUBTYPE:STONE:LIGNITE] to [REAGENT:1:STONE:METAMORPHIC:STONE:GNEISS]. Also: it appears that only stone in the "layer" and "soil" matglosses have defined subtypes, so you will always have to check their subtypes if you want to use them in reactions; minerals and ores, on the other hand, should work with "NO_SUBTYPE".Ohsottovoce 16:43, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Magma-safe Mechanism Mod?[edit]

While I know this wiki isn't an FAQ-guide, I think it would be helpful for those poor noobs who can never find both Bauxite and magma/rivers in the same place. I can list the mod to give Iron the "any" property of adamantine, but I don't know specifically how to make Iron available for mechanisms otherwise.

To give Iron the "any" property of adamantine you need to (close Dwarf Fortress and) open your "...[Dwarf fortress]\raw\objects" folder, and open "matgloss_metal.txt". Lucky for you, Iron is the top most item and all you have to do is add "[ANY_USE]" (without quotation marks) to the end of the "[WEAPON][WEAPON_RANGED][AMMO][DIGGER][ARMOR][ANVIL]" string, save the file enjoy!

I didn't add this yet because I want to see if anyone else feels this should be added here before I do so on my own. Kenji 03 10:11, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Making races[edit]

Anyone ever tried making Centaurs and Merpeople races? Is there another page that this would better fit? Possibly some forums. Do they work differently from the other races? I'm sure someone has done something like this so I don't have to work or read much, making characteristics and such. I haven't gone anywhere near a large body of water so I don't know what kind of an environment it is underwater, though I guess it's a bit like flying. Building structures underwater might be impossible.(currently anyway) I'm thinking of structures made out of coral or fish bones or whatever is under the sea.--Seaneat 23:34, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

It isn't possible to make an underwater civ playable in Fortress mode - nothing can be constructed in the water, and I seem to recall that everyone will constantly cancel their tasks due to Dangerous Terrain. --Quietust 23:53, 22 November 2009 (UTC)